Commissioners at the SEC are currently reviewing staff recommendations on a rule to require “independent compliance reviews” for advisors, or third-party exams, as well as a “detailed outline” on a uniform fiduciary duty rule for brokers and advisors, agency Chairwoman Mary Jo White said Tuesday.
During a question-and-answer session at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s annual capital markets conference in Washington, White also said coordination between the SEC and the Department of Labor continues regarding implementation of Labor’s fiduciary rule.
During her Q&A with SIFMA president and CEO Ken Bentsen, White said that SEC staff has completed the “independent compliance reviews” plan for advisors and that the proposal is “now with the commissioners.”
Indeed, White told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting that SEC Commissioners Kara Stein and Michael Piwowar are “studying” a recommendation from SEC staff on what the industry dubs a third-party exam rule for advisors, but said she “couldn’t predict the timing” on when such a rule would come up for a vote.
Norm Champ, the former director of the SEC’s investment management division, told ThinkAdvisor in a recent interview that he believes White “could propose” the third-party exam rule for advisors before the election. Champ, who’s now a partner in Kirkland & Ellis’ private funds group, has criticized the idea of third-party advisor audits.
White also addressed the continuing coordination between the SEC and the DOL regarding Labor’s fiduciary rule.
“The coordination is going on and will continue to go on” with respect to the rule, White said. “Before, we’ve had some overlapping rules where we’ve had to coordinate, maybe not in the same dimension…we’re listening to those issues of implementation. The challenges are there, and we are very receptive to hear about those challenges.”
As to the SEC finalizing its own fiduciary rule, White reiterated her position that she supports the agency moving ahead with such a rule, but stated: “I’m one vote; it’s very complex.”